Yes, I stole the pic from the Daily Mail. Yes, I’ve been on a Daily Mail kick today. Sue me.
Posted by KingShamus on June 30, 2011
Yes, I stole the pic from the Daily Mail. Yes, I’ve been on a Daily Mail kick today. Sue me.
Posted by KingShamus on June 30, 2011
He’s Chrrriiiiiiiiis. Chris Haaaaaaaansen.
Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.
Last weekend he was recorded taking Miss Caddell on a romantic dinner at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, before spending the night at her Palm Beach apartment.
Hansen, who has two young sons, was caught in an undercover sting operation arranged by the National Enquirer.
Secret cameras filmed the couple as they arrived at the hotel for dinner and then drove back to her apartment – where the pair left, carrying luggage, at 8am the following day.
Sort of amazing, actually.
I actually liked ‘To Catch A Predator’. Yeah, Hansen came off as kind of a dickbag, but then again he was dealing with vile kid touchers. If ever there was a reason for a dude to treat people like they were scumbags, it’s when he’s grilling them about their creepy chatroom conversations with 12 year old girls. Hansen probably did some good with his show, so it’s kinda sad to see him take a tumble like this.
I snagged the DailyMail link from Robert Stacy McCain. Even his news dump posts are full of win. Thanks!
Now a Memeorandum thread. Ooooof.
The piling on continues. Now Instapundit joins in the fun. Wow. I had no idea Chris Haaaaaaaaaansen was such a lightning rod.
Posted by KingShamus on June 29, 2011
A battle won for Team Barry and Operation Bone America.
The Obama administration won the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law on Wednesday as a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans obtain health insurance.
The ruling is the first of three opinions to be delivered by separate courts of appeal that heard arguments in the health care litigation in May and June. Opinions are expected soon from panels in both the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., and in the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
But fear not, ya’all. Elena Kagan and the Supreme Court is gonna get on these cases soon.
Lawyers on both sides of the case widely expect the Supreme Court to take one or more of the cases, perhaps as soon as its coming term, which starts in October. The speed of the Sixth Circuit ruling could help ensure that timing.
Remember how George Bush signed McCain-Feingold campaign finance deform into law? There was an expectation amongst some conservatives that the Supreme Court would take care of that pile of dog shit. It took them a while to get around to it, and even then the SCOTUS only struck parts of McCain-Feingold down.
We cannot hope for the Supremes to clean up yet another clusterfuck for us. Having the highest court in the handle what should be the legislative branch’s would be nice, but it can’t be counted on. Relying on the SCOTUS to do this is kinda like calling the cops on your neighbors when their kegger gets too loud. Sure, the local gendarme will figure out a solution to the dilemna, but it’s gonna be very awkward at the next homeowner’s association meeting.
Here’s an idea. How about instead of making the Supreme Court take out the garbage, how’s about we elect a conservative for president, end Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader and repeal ObamaCare?
Just a thought.
I snagged the NYT link from Memeorandum.
Posted by KingShamus on June 28, 2011
Fleeceme–the man, the myth, the blogger–has a pretty good idea.
Today, my wife and I were planting some flowers in our front yard. After we finished the planting, she broke out the waterhose and started watering our newly planted babies. I remember a week ago, she brought a couple of bags home from her store (almost a daily occurrence), and one of those bags contained a water hose sprayer thingy (no idea the technical name for that thing). You can imagine my wonderment as to why my wife was not using it to water the flowers a week later?
Long story short, she doesn’t know where it is, and wasn’t gonna bother looking for it since “its only a dollar.”
This is the dollar tree syndrome. A combination of buying more than you need because “its only a dollar” and not caring for what you buy because “its only a dollar.”
Imagine if you were allowed to go on a shopping spree in a dollar store with other people’s money, do you think you would be a more conscientious shopper or less? As Congress shows almost daily, the latter is the answer.
Read the whole thing, as Fleeceme spins a good yarn in making his point.
Fleece’s insight gets us to a constant problem when it comes to government spending. PJ O’Rourke once wrote–I can’t remember in which book of his, maybe “All The Trouble In The World”–about the four major ways that people can spend money.
Example 1: You can spend your money on yourself. Generally speaking, that means that you will look for the best value and you buy things that you really want. You shop around, you look for sales, you’ll surf Craigslist and eventually you will buy that new exhaust kit for your
midlife crisis sports car. After all, it’s for you. You deserve to have your whip bark out that nice throaty V-8 power you know it has and impress all the ladies at the office.
Example 2: You can spend your money on someone else. You’re still looking for the best bargain you can possibly find, but what you buy that someone else kinda depends. If you’re buying for your husband, maybe you get him that new set of Callaway golf clubs that he really wanted for his birthday. Or maybe you buy him a gently used golf bag if he forgot to take out the trash. Or maybe just a bag of tees if he forgot your anniversary. Whatever. In any case, what you buy isn’t all that important as the fact that you saved some dough. Remember that the purchase isn’t for you, so while making that person happy might be a priority, it’s not exactly the first priority.
Example 3: You can spend somebody else’s money on yourself. Price suddenly takes a backseat to making sure you get whatever you want. The repellent over-entitled brats on My Super Sweet 16 don’t give a rat’s ass that renting out the entire 40-40 club means owing Jay-Z a kidney, a gallon of blood and a younger sibling. Nor do they care in the slightest that having the Cirque de Soleil crew create a brand-new act for their party is going to cost more than the GDP of half the countries on the planet. None of that shit matters. Why? Because the kiddies are not paying for any of it. They just know that they want the dopest party celebrating all the awesomeness that makes up a talentless accomplishment-free dope-smoking layabout who doesn’t even have a high school diploma.
Example 4: You can spend somebody else’s money on a third party. When that’s the case, both price consciousness and caring about what is being purchased goes out the window. It isn’t for you. It’s for somebody else. You don’t care whether or not they get a 5000 square foot beach house or lifetime supply of vitamin water. More to the point, you’re not looking for the best value either. You’re going to spend whatever has been given to you and be done with it. Whether it’s a trillion dollars or twenty grand, if that’s the budget, then that money will be spent because it wasn’t your money in the first place.
To get back to Fleece’s example, when price is low enough–like at a dollar store–people will spend their own money on themselves like examples 3 or 4 for a little while. Eventually though, everybody except the most pound-foolish pathological hoarder will eventually figure out that they have enough $.99 can openers. Most people are not that crazy.
Government on the other hand never runs out of things to spend other people’s money on. Welfare, guns, TARP, high speed rail–whatever. Basically, the federal gubmint exists in the fantasy world that is Example 4. For them, every day is like living in a Dollar Store because they juggle sums of money most people simply cannot comprehend. Conversely, if Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi had to kick in even a measly five percent of the cost of the 2009 Porkulus, they’d shit their pants, curl up into a fetal position and sob uncontrollably for the rest of their lives.
Posted by KingShamus on June 28, 2011
Courtesy of Matt over at the terrific Conservative Hideout thinks the video you’re about to see should go viral. I think he’s right.
Great song too.
More: Robert Stacy McCain has a rad video too. Check that one out, then feel your anger at Obama’s school-girl giggling rise up all over again.
Posted by KingShamus on June 27, 2011
Yesterday, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann if she was, “…a flake”. There’s been some hullaballoo over that, which I guess prompted Wallace to issue what I thought was a heartfelt apology. The Politico is now reporting that Bachmann isn’t exactly looking to kiss and make up.
ABC News’ Jon Karl, who’s been getting face-time with Bachmann in Waterloo in advance of her formal campaign announcement, played a clip of the web video in which Wallace said, “I messed up. I’m sorry.”
When Karl asked if she accepts the apology, Bachmann brushed aside the question this way: “I think that it’s insulting to insinuate that a candidate for president is less than serious.”
Trying the question again, Bachmann replied, “Those are the small issues. I’m focused on the big ones.”
See, I think this is less to do with Bachmann blowing off Wallace’s mea culpa and more about playing smart politics. Bachmann really can’t win if she publicly accepts Wallace’s apology. If she does that, she looks like a woman who catches feelings over a reporter’s awkward questioning. That wouldn’t create the kind of presidential aura that Bachmann desperately needs in order to be taken seriously as a 2012 contender.
As an aside, this is why Obama looks like a cranky adjunct college lecturer when he gets annoyed with a tough interviewer.
Anyhoo, like I said before, Wallace did the right thing to apologize. He doesn’t want to be part of the story. Saying he’s sorry gets him out of the picture in the most graceful way left to him.
On the other hand, Bachmann has to distance herself from the ‘flake’ issue as much as possible. She acknowledged her annoyance with a media figure, which probably helps her amongst conservatives annoyed with the MSM in general, then moved on to other things. That’s about as good as she could’ve played this on the day she announces her bid for the presidency.
I snagged the Politico link from Memeorandum. Grazie.
Posted by KingShamus on June 26, 2011
The Afghan War has been a constant part of America’s political and cultural landscape for almost ten years. Like catching sand in a sieve, victory has been incredibly hard to grasp. The war has bedeviled two presidents, two Secretaries of Defense (soon to be three) and numerous top commanders. Unlike Iraq, where American perceptions have shifted to see it as a victory for the US military, Afghanistan is seen as a confusing morass where winning just might be impossible.
Into this muddled situation comes “The Wrong War” by Bing West. The author, a former Marine, lays out the details on the ground in stark terms. By putting himself directly into battles alongside the American and Afghan troops, West gives the reader a view of the fighting from the eye of the soldiers themselves. West focuses on two areas, the Konar Province in the northeast and the Helmand province in the southwest. Each has it’s own tribal tensions, linguistic diversity, economic issues, geographical challenges and political difficulties.
Reading “The Wrong War” makes it clear just how foolish our nation-building efforts have been in Afghanistan. The country–and calling Afghanistan a ‘country’ is almost comical– is spectacularly unsuited for the kind of Western political reforms we’ve been trying to graft onto it. West details several ways that Hamid Karzai, our hand-picked ‘democrat’, has undercut much of what we are trying to accomplish. The battle of Barge Mattal, where Americans fought and bled not to secure a military objective but to secure votes for Karzai’s reelection, is an especially infuriating portion of the book.
In 2009, Karzai put pressure on the American commander General Stanley McCrystal to retake Barge Mattal. The town, deep in the Nuristan Province and close to the wide-open Pakistan border, served as an optimal location for insurgents to jump between the two countries and conduct operations. However, Karzai didn’t really care about the military importance of Barge Mattal so much as the political expediency of taking back the town to look tough and get votes.
This put heavy constraints on what the Americans could and could not do to achieve the mission. Worse, there was no counterinsurgency goal to be had there. Instead, the US was forced to land Batallion 1-32 into the middle of Barge Mattal’s ‘punchbowl’ location, surrounded by high cliffs from which the enemy could shoot from the high ground onto the American forces. Predictably, this resulted in the needless deaths of American troops.
West offers Barge Mattal up as an example of the incompetence and corruption of Hamid Karzai’s cronyed-up leadership. But it’s not just the Afghan elite that is suspect. The rules of engagement that the Western forces labor under are constructed so poorly that the enemy uses them to their own advantage. In a stunning passage, West finds himself in a firefight alongside American, British and Afghan security forces against an insurgent group.
“I see one over here, ‘ Cpl. Gareth Robson yelled from a side wall. Le ran over and peered through his M4 scope at a man dressed in black who was running bent over to the west end of the building, presenting an easy target.
“Should I shoot him?” Le [Ed.-Pfc. Khanh Le] asked me.
“I’m just a writer,” I said. “It’s your call.”
A few meters away, Roxy [Ed.-Sgt. Scott Roxborough, a British soldier] pursed his lips to emit a farting sound, amplified by jeers from the two Marines and several Brits.
“Okay, okay, ” I relented. “In Vietnam, I’d light him up. Now, what’s your ROE?”
“I don’t see a weapon,” Le said.
“Our rule,” Roxy shouted, “is that you have to testify at your hearing that the shooting was justified.”
The absurdity of that conversation is mind-boggling. “The Wrong War” is littered with the frustration, lost opportunities and senseless American deaths brought about due to horrible ROEs. Not only do we send our troops into harms way, we readily tie their hands while gleefully patting ourselves on the back for our humanitarianism. War is already insane; how we have forced our troops to conduct themselves in Afghanistan borders on the suicidal.
When the American armed forces are not busy looking through the Yellow Pages for lawyers to defend them at the court-martial they could be subject to for accidentally farting on an insurgent’s pet goat/next meal/best friend with benefits, the Afghan civilians often do their best to kill our troops as well.
Picture credit: Bing West
The picture above shows Afghan teenagers strewing rocks into the path of the 1-32 during an ambush at the village of Ganjigal. They did this in order to hem the Americans into a narrow area so that insurgents could have a better chance of killing US forces. Remember that these are the people the US taxpayer has invested billions of dollars in order to turn them into democrats. Worse, these are the people the US citizen has sacrificed its sons and daughters in order to turn Afghanistan away from international terrorism.
Why has Afghanistan gone so horribly wrong? In West’s estimation, it’s because America has tried to run a counterinsurgency operation that focuses on protecting the civilian population rather than killing the enemy. This brings into question what the American civilian leadership and the generals believe the US military is meant to do. The fact that there are people in positions of power who see our military as just a heavily armed Peace Corps is an indictment on the American military command, the civilian leadership and the American voter who puts up with monumentally incompetent leaders talking massively wrong-headed strategies.
“The Wrong War” is not just a scathing indictment of the current debacle in Afghanistan. West offers up stories that highlight the tremendous professionalism, deadly skill and selfless courage that are critical assets of our military men and women. The ambush at Ganjigal might’ve been an unmitigated American tragedy. Instead, the courageous actions of Corporal Dakotah Meyer–which West documents here–are nothing short of breathtaking. For every tale of misery in “The Wrong War”, there are incidences of American heroism and resolve that should be part of our national mythos.
Moreover, West offers his solutions for an exit strategy. The final chapter should be required reading for anybody even remotely connected to the decision-making process in Afghanistan. His ideas help the American troops maintain their reputation for being the most deadly fighting force on the planet. Better still, they remove the American military from being pawns of Hamid Karzai and the scumfuck Afghan elite’s tribal machinations.
In light of Barack Obama’s unrealistic dewy-eyed dreamer’s speech last week, “The Wrong War” becomes only that much more vital. Bing West’s book is a cold honest assessment that counter-balances the President’s partisan political agenda with facts, insight and real workable solutions. For anybody that cares about the global war on terror, the American military and our national security, “The Wrong War” is vital to understanding where we are now and where we should be in the future.
Posted by KingShamus on June 25, 2011
Is it possible for New Jersey to make a good beer? It would be nice if it did. So far, the Garbage State is known for urban failure, political corruption, high taxes, mafia families both real and fake, a punishing business climate and sluts. Oh yeah, and stupid Woodrow Wilson too. It’s long past time for Joizee to be known for something positive. For the love of Jeebus, please let these brews be palatable.
Hopnotic India Pale Ale
I’d never had an India Pale Ale, so I went into this with no preconceptions. Apparently, the IPA brew style has it’s roots in old English colonial life, so it felt almost like quaffing a Kipling poem. Okay, not really.
Anyhoo, the poured Hopnotic gave off a handsome light copper color. There was almost zero head and thus no lacing. I noticed very little carbonation. There were hoppy notes up front, but not crazy strong either. Given the name, I was expecting a lot of hops in the beer’s nose.
The lack of carbonation made this feel a little heavier than it really was. The IPA is not a sudsy brew at all. To be honest, it probably could’ve used a little more fizz. As for the taste, you get a smooth start with a stiff bitterness at the end. Not unpleasant, but it most assuredly announced it’s presence. It definitely got smoother after a few sips. Polishing this off was a pleasure.
Overall, the IPA Hopnotic is not bad at all. If you’re a dedicated India Pale Ale aficionado, this might be not hoppy enough for your tastes. However, for the average beer drinker this brew could easily fit into his drinking menu.
East Coast Lager
The East Coast Lager had a a nice orangey amber coloration. Unlike the IPA Hopnotic there was a decent amount of carbonation. The head on the ECL was thinnish and it left virtually no lacing.
The grainy scent was quite pleasant. On the other hand, the Lager had a bitter front taste which was almost unpleasant. The difference between the odor of the beer and the beginning flavor was kinda jarring. It was like jumping into a pool expecting it to be warm and instead having it turn out cold. Finally, and sort of oddly, it had a fairly smooth finish.
As a lager fan, I found the ECL to be a mixed bag. It’s definitely a complex beer. Perhaps a bit too complex for my stupid ass. It just seems like a lager should be a little smoother than the East Coast Lager.
The American Ale is considered a pale ale. This did not seem all that pale to me. Instead, the AA poured out with a nice rosy bronze coloration. The beer had a thin white head that left ample bubbly lacing clinging to the glass. It also displayed very active carbonation. The overall look of the beer was really quite pretty.
The nose here was grainy, with just a hint of something citrusy. Perhaps a lime or a grapefruit? Whatever it was, it was good. The front taste of the beer was metallic that just bordered on obnoxious. The finish had a malty sweetness that made up for the tin can beginning. The average beer drinker could probably pound down a few of these and be reasonably happy. The AA seemed like one of those beers that would improve with rapidly repeated drinking.
Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale
I served myself up a glass of Cricket Hill’s Breakfast Beer. As per the brewery’s suggestion–and who am I to go against Cricket Hill’s brightest ideas?–I drank the breakfast beer with breakfast.
As for the beer itself, the Breakfast Ale was a murky bronze Belgian pale ale. It had a thin head that left a little bit of lacing. I honestly couldn’t really get a bead on the scent. I think maybe the five eggs and the ham steak was confusing me. Or maybe I was just confused by getting tipsy at 8:00 AM.
The flavor was akin to a tin can. The metallic taste was pretty strong. The aftertaste was less like licking a sheet of aluminum foil, but you could still taste it. But ya know what? I didn’t give a shit. Beer in the morning is pure win.
I think of a breakfast beer as something like a Coors Lite; a brew without a lot of heft or fancy-pants attitude. Just something easy to pound with a hot early morning meal. The Jersey Summer was light enough to work in the AM hours. The tinny taste might be a little off-putting to some, but for me it wasn’t awful. Best of all, the Breakfast Ale tasted better when I had it in the afternoon, so if you don’t want to flirt with mildly alcoholic behavior you can have this beer later in the day.
Cricket Hill fancies itself as a smallish craft brewery. That led to some difficulty in tracking down these beers. CH offers ten brews, but I could barely find four of them. I would’ve loved to have given their Paymaster’s Porter Ale a test drive, but I just couldn’t dig it up.
The beers are a little stiff on price. I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 per six-pack. That could be an issue for some folks looking for sturdy suds at a good value. If you were not already a fan, you might have a hard time justifying spending that kind of dough.
But what are you getting here? None of the beers that I tested were below 4.2% alcohol by volume (Cricket Hill doesn’t give an ABV for the Jersey Summer, but I doubt it’s below 4%), so you’re getting a pleasant psychic wet kiss from these potent potables. That’s still cool.
Out of all the beers I tasted, the IPA Hopnotic was the best. It was the most drinkable and with the nicest combination of flavors. The American Ale is well worth a try as well. The other two could be a little too self-consciously craft beerish for some folks, but even they’re not bad beers. Cricket Hill is still a young brewery, so the potential for these beers to get even better as they tweak the recipes is certainly there.
In 2011, Cricket Hill has proven itself to be a quality brewery that puts out good beers full of character. Cricket Hill’s success does not erase New Jersey’s reputation for soul-crushing lameness. We’re taking about a small batch beer company after all. On the other hand, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. If Cricket Hill keeps pumping out quality suds, it might at least make the Garden State seem less like a crime-infested corruption-centric sweaty armpit of fail. For Jersey, that would be progress.
So go out and try Cricket Hill’s beers. They taste pretty good. They’ll get you drunk. What else do you want?
Posted by KingShamus on June 23, 2011
Yeah, I’m wussing out. Sorry.
In my defense, I’ve been drinking heavily in the hopes of putting out a beer review for the weekend. Also, my review of Bing West’s “The Wrong War” should be done soon so I haven’t been completely playing hookey on the ole bloggerino.
To get your mind off of Barack Obama’s Regime of Fail–and my own lameness–here’s a cool Australian blogger GregoryNo6 making fun of his country’s boneheaded socialist crapweasel leader. It’s just nice to know America isn’t the only country with an anti-patriotic windowlicker running the ship of state as hard as he can into the rocks. Go ahead and check homeboy’s website out. It’s good.
Posted by KingShamus on June 22, 2011
I dunno if ya’all have been keeping up with current events, so Kathleen Sebelius and the rest of the Team Bammy’s nanny-staters are going to really make sure you blithering idiots understand just how nasty your bad habit is.
Nine new graphic cigarette warning labels showing cancerous lesions and other impacts of smoking were unveiled Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration, part of the agency’s sweeping new powers to regulate tobacco and tobacco products.
“With these warnings, every person who picks up a pack of cigarettes is going to know exactly what risk they’re taking,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters.
Sebelius called smoking and other tobacco use the “number one cause of preventable death” in America, claiming more than 440,000 lives a year.
Cigarette packages will now carry one vivid color image and one of these warnings about the consequences of smoking: “Cigarettes are addictive”; “Tobacco smoke can harm your children”; “Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease”; “Cigarettes cause cancer”; “Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease”; “Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby”; “Smoking can kill you”; “Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers”; and “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.”
Aren’t you glad the Department of Telling You Shit You Already Knew is spending a lot of your money to tell you shit you already knew? I know I am relieved to hear that the federal government is going to order those big meanie-head tobacco companies to put massive warning labels on their products.
The government hacks say they’re thinking about banning tobacco. Okee-dokee. But do they really want that? El Rushbo had an interesting take during today’s program.
Intellectually, what is wrong with these people is, the tax revenue from the sale of cigarettes in this country is funding children’s health programs. It’s the number one tax that pays for children’s health care programs. So on the one hand, they need the tax revenue to pay for the health care. They need the tax revenue, period, whatever it was for. On the other hand what exactly are they trying to do here? Do they actually want these people to quit smoking?
The answer is of course not. There’s too much money in people smoking for Sebelius or any other wannabe Lung Czar. This is par for the course for the government.
Don’t take my word for it. Instead, ponder the various traffic rules we have to follow on America’s roads. What are all those regulations for? If you said ‘safety’, you would be wrong.
To ‘serve and protect’ has become ‘serve and collect.’ 4 years ago Public Act 85 was passed that required all municipalities in Michigan to conduct studies to set proper speed limits. Most Michigan municipalities from cities to villages to townships have not complied. Thus, there are plenty of speed limits that are themselves unlawful. Why would municipalities do this? One word: money. From The Detroit News: Many speed limits set too low
One likely reason, said (Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section), whose section advises communities on how to set proper speed limits, is that communities want speeding ticket revenue, and failing to conduct the required speed studies allows them to keep enforcing their speed limits that Megge calls “artificially low.”
When it comes to speeding, it’s all about extracting your money from you. When it comes from tobacco usage, it’s–you guessed it–all about extracting your money from you.
This cuts right to the heart of the benevolent gubmint myth that so many of us take for granted. Kathleen Sebelius says she wants to protect Americans. That’s a pretty story, with a clear cut good guy (The Feds) to root for and a yucky bad guy (Big Tobacco) to root against. The graphic warning labels are just meant to show the anti-smoking crowd that the US government is on the case and doing something about smoking. They really don’t care about you or your family. They just want your money.
Posted by KingShamus on June 21, 2011
Darcprynce over at the terrific Daley Gator blog posts some slices of fried gold. Specifically, Eric Holder might’ve screwed the pooch on his knowledge of Operation Fast And Furious.
Shorter Eric Holder: “HamanahamanaIwasonlyawareoftheisafewweeksagohamanahamanahamana…”
Remember how the Bush Administration was supposed to be able to predict the magnitude of every hurricane that was fated to make landfall in the United States, foretell the biggest terror attack on American soil with nothing more than a half-assed amazingly unspecific intelligence memo and understand every economic decision in the US in order to stave off a recession?
But for Team Bamster, nobody in the Admenstruation knows any fucking thing and nobody gives a damn just how stupid these blindingly incompetent dickstains have proven themselves to be. The trillion dollar porkulus didn’t solve the unemployment problem–whatevs. Supergenius community organizer and adjunct college lecturer Barack Obama takes over General Motors and surprisingly blows at running it–yawn. Now attorney general E-Ho, most famous for lecturing Americans on race relations by ignoring racially motivated voter intimidation, suddenly can’t figure out when he knew about Operation Lets Give Firearms To Every Member Of Every Mexican Drug Cartel.
Posted by KingShamus on June 20, 2011
It turns out that last week, Blog De KingShamus turned two years old. I completely missed it. At some point very soon I’ll be able to hide my own Easter Eggs as well.
I guess I’ll post more celebratory stuff later, but for now, here’s a silly birthday song for a silly blog.
Happy birthday to me.
Posted by KingShamus on June 18, 2011
I haven’t written about this story–yes, I’m coming to it late; blame it on Congressman Cockshots–but this is huge.
On December 14, 2010, a special unit of the U.S. Border Patrol came across a group of heavily armed suspects near Rio Rico, Arizona. The Border Patrol team identified themselves as law enforcement officers, at which point the armed men open fire. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was hit in the pelvis by a single bullet and died the next morning. One of the suspects was captured, and two AK-pattern semiautomatic rifles recovered at the scene were identified by serial number as weapons that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) — acting in concert with and with the blessing of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) — allowed weapons smugglers to purchase at U.S. gun shops. The weapons were just two of more than 2,000 firearms that ATF supervisors and the highest levels of DOJ management allowed to be “walked” across the border to narco-terrorist drug cartels in Mexico…
Operation Gunwalker is what they’re calling this debacle. How did it happen?
Three federal firearms investigators told the House Oversight and Government Reform committee that they wanted to “intervene and interdict” loads of guns, but were repeatedly ordered to step aside.
“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals — this was the plan,” John Dodson, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, testified to the panel. “It was so mandated.”
He added: “My supervisors directed me and my colleagues not to make any stop or arrest, but rather, to keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk.”
ATF agent Olindo James Casa said that “on several occasions I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.”
At what point does a sting operation go from letting the bad guys do criminal shit so you can nab them to just full-on aiding and abetting? I think we have an answer and it looks like what the DOJ and BATF did here.
Imagine a scenario where the Canadian government allowed guns to walk across the border and into the hands of, say, the Folks Nation, MS-13, Russian mafia and the Latin Kings. Just how much understanding would we have in that situation. I doubt we’d accept a heartfelt apology and an ‘oops, my bad eh?’ from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and just let it go.
This is just speculation on my part, but here’s why I think this happened. Eric Holder is an anti-Second Amendment hack lawyer. Operation Gunwalker was going to be used as political cover for a major gun control push during Obama’s second term. Holder would present the results of the investigation nailing lots of straw purchasers to the public. Knee-jerk liberal gun-grabber sobbing would ensue, which the Obama administration would then be able to employ as the tip of a gun control spearhead movement.
Now the only way that scenario works is if Holder’s DOJ had shit-loads of evidence. You don’t get that if you cut the sting way short. Something like this takes time. Besides, this was supposed to all come to pass in early 2013. There was no way an arch-lefty Department of Justice was going to let this scheme fall flat before the trap was sprung. In this case, the trap was supposed to clap closed on the Second Amendment.
I could be wrong. The scenario I lay out above could be completely off-base. Operation Gunwalker could’ve just been aimed at criminal gun-runners without a political angle. A lot of this is just me thinking out loud. I have very little concrete evidence and a lot of circumstantial stuff that sorta fits my theory.
Having said that, Holder’s sleazy brand of progressive advocacy is fairly shameless. We have a Clintonoid race-hustler as Attorney General. Would it shock anybody if it turned out in the course of the investigation that a gun-grabber agenda was part of the reasoning behind Operation Gunwalker?
All I know is that Darrell Issa has some very serious work ahead of him. Vaya con dios, Congressman.
Posted by KingShamus on June 17, 2011
Not literally of course. However, as Karen Howes of the great Eastern Right tells us, we’re losing the concept of childhood. Here’s why:
The concept of childhood flowered especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but [Neil] Postman believed that the trend is reversing and that childhood is disappearing. The main culprit, Postman argued, is the medium of television, introduced in the late 1940′s.
Unlike books, television requires no skill to watch; in fact, by 36 months, babies actively watch the tube and begin to ask for the products they see advertised. In part because there is no skill required in watching t.v., television is readily accessible to everyone. This also means that, despite what many think, there really is no “children’s programming.” Research shows that children and adults watch pretty much the same shows, and even late night programming is watched by children.
In other words, just as books and the skill necessary to learn to read them and extract knowledge from them created the intermediate stage of life we call “childhood”, television is “disappearing” it. Children and adults together sit in front of the tube, passively taking in over 1,000 images per hour.
Reading is fundamental. Speaking of which, read the rest of Karen’s piece. There’s a whole bunch more win where that came from.
The question I have is: do we really want to kill childhood or are we just sort of blundering into it? I’d say it’s a little bit of both. As mentioned in Karen’s post, NAMBLA is working it’s ass off to make vile sleazebag kid-touchers just another part of the gloriously diverse mosaic of Western cultural life.
However, most parents don’t want childhood to go away. But at the same time, a lot of parents aren’t thinking that hard about trying to keep our understanding of childhood alive either. The inertia of habit–”Hey, I had TV growing up, and I turned out okay”–kicks in for a lot of people.
Television is definitely a childhood robber. You know what else I see that really hurts the traditional concept pf childhood? Lack of free play time. I remember back when I was knee high to a grasshopper, as I put on my bifocals, Depends and fuddy-duddy voice modulator, there were big swaths of time that I did nothing structured. My friends and I would go out into the woods or try to build a go-cart or set up a pick-up football game or whatever the hell we felt like. That led to a few patches of boredom which may have contributed to the occasional bout of slightly anti-social behavior, but for the most part the things my cohorts and I did were harmless kiddie stuff.
It’s like we let the television raise our children for the first eight years of their lives, then when we find that they’re spoiled and untrustworthy, we lock them into rat race-style overscheduled routines in the hope that keeping the rug-monkeys really busy won’t give them the time to get into trouble.
There’s something really wrong about that. And it’s our own damn fault. We’re to blame for letting the television take over. More, it will only be us that can do something about it. The government can’t be trusted to raise America’s children. Nobody else can make the change to push away the television except ourselves.
Oh yeah, I stole the title of the post from a Jesu tune. I’m gangsta like that.
SORTA RELATED, BUT NOT QUITE: Here’s where I think TV really goes wrong when compared to other forms of entertainment. It’s not interactive at all. The TV talks at you and throws images at you, but the only way you can interact with it is if you turn the channel or turn it off. That’s not really much of a choice if you really think about it.
Look at the average television program, then go play an online video game. Are video games high culture? Not really. But when you take Call of Duty into an online setting, you’re problem-solving in a social setting, communicating with others to complete tasks and doing crazy action hero stuff all at once. Go figure a lot of people would rather to do that then watch stupid dialogue written by lame-ass hacks and portrayed by spoiled morons on the idiot box.
When you watch a tv show, by definition you’re just watching the pictures and hearing the words. There is nothing on tv like the instant gratification of spraying a few AUG rounds into some helpless noob to win your Team Deathmatch game. Television can’t compete with that. The nature of the medium prevents it.
Hell, take an older game that’s pretty tame, such as SimCity 4. Yeah, there is no multiplayer action going on, but as a player you are still trying to problem-solve and make complex decisions. The only decision-making process involved with a television is what particular series of colorful pictures and yakkety-yak you want to play out in front of you.
Look at tv shows that have a viewer voting component, like “American Idol” or “So You Think You Can Dance”. Sure, there is some interactivity there, but it’s very diffused. If you really want a contestant to stay on one of those kinds of programs, you’d better hope a few million people agree with you.
television has it’s place on the menu of entertainments/diversions/timewasters. But I really don’t think the future of entertainment lies in TV. We might be seeing the end of television as the dominant media format. In some instances, it would be a shame. In a lot of others ways, it might be the best thing that could happen to us.
Posted by KingShamus on June 15, 2011
Matt over at the wondrous Conservative Hideout brings us this week’s episode of “Climate Change Believers Are Stupid”.
For the latest, here is some evidence that not only is there no warming, but we might be headed for another “Little Ice Age.”
What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.
The Little Ice Age was a period of human history that lasted from approximately 1300 to 1870. It’s impacts were incredibly significant in ways that we do not recognize.
I want to show everybody something.
Just a picture to get a sense of scale.
Note the size of the Sun. Now note the size of the Earth. Common sense tells us that what happens on that fiery ball of raging nuclear fusion is going to have a far greater impact on the world than almost anything we humans could do to our planet. A lack of sunspots will do much more to the temperature of this planet than any amount of CO2 we could possibly pump into the atmosphere.
The climate change warmist cult, being part of the larger environmentalist kook fringe, will most assuredly blow this evidence off. They’ll play the ‘Oil Companies Are Funding This Study!’ game or more likely simply ignore it all. But then again, they love tossing out all sorts of contradictory evidence when it suits their aims.
How many truly spectacular natural disasters have we seen over the last decade? Tsunamis, hurricanes, outbreaks of tornados, earthquakes: Mother Nature has thrown just about every kind of weapon she has in her Arsenal of Killing The Shit Out Of Us. Yet even with all that, the enviro-dorks insist that the Earth is a delicate flower in need of constant protection, impossibly light footsteps and–most importantly–lots of freedom hating human-unfriendly big government solutions to keep Terra safe from the evil predations of Mankind.
Wrong. Earth is not a vestal virgin in need of a socialist chastity belt to keep her pure. Instead, the world is a smoking hot yet incredibly moody ex-wife on an eternal meth binge, armed with a loaded MAC-10 and just waiting for you to say something about her thighs so she has an excuse to pump a few rounds into your sorry ass. There’s nothing you can do to change her mind about your uselessness. You know that at some point she’s going to shoot you. It’s just a matter of when and what extremity she decides to hit.
We don’t need to protect the Earth from a whole lot. If anything, we could use some protection from her.
Now, am I arguing against protecting the environment? Hell no. There are perfectly reasonable clean water regulations and air quality rules we should be following. We can even debate some–and I mean some–broader international ecological standards, as long as it’s in the context of proper Constitutional boundaries and our national sovereignty. But the world is not going to be destroyed because a few Americans want to drive gas-guzzling SUVs.
Posted by KingShamus on June 15, 2011
I sorta had a feeling I’d be writing this piece when I posted Ehlinger’s Janice Hahn attack ad. I know the filmmaker is a big boy. He can handle the criticism and he can answer his critics better than I can. However, allow me a few words in his defense.
Let me come right out and say it: Ehlinger’s ad is not an even-handed look at the issues surrounding Janice Hahn’s decision to run for Jane Harman’s seat. The ad is about as subtle as a bulldozer.
What we’re dealing with is a political attack ad as a blunt parody. Ehlinger is working several angles here. First of all, he is satirizing the blinged-out oversexed “money-cash-ho’s” hip-hop video style that has taken over the visual depiction of the rap game in the last decade and a half. Watch a few of these classic artistic gems of timeless elegance [sarc/]. Ehlinger isn’t advocating for this kind of stuff, he’s mocking the hell out of it. He’s turning the conventions of the typical rap video on their ear.
The thing is, I respond to this sort of broad parody because I think modern hip-hop ran out of visual ideas sometime around the year 2000. The dudes hanging out of Bentleys, flossing their ice and turning every woman they see into a sex object? Yeah, that shit is just as played out as a Motley Crue video from 1986. The problem is that as lame as it is, kids seem to buy it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make fun of it and get a laugh out of the cliche. Anytime somebody takes the piss out of the lack of imagination in rap videos and does it well, I laugh my ass off.
The other way I see this clip is from a political angle. Ehlinger is satirizing the kind of clueless white-guilt liberalism that sees thugged-out black and Hispanic gang members as ‘authentic’ voices of oppressed minorities. What did Janice Hahn try to do? Buy off organized crime sets in the hope that throwing money at these ‘poor, disaffected youth’, they’d stop doing gang-banger type shit. Instead, they took Hahn’s dough and remained part of the criminal element.
In other words, the gang members treated Hahn like the OG’s in Ehlinger’s video treated the stripper–a fool who lets herself get punked. That’s the message here. It has little to do with ho’s or guns or makin’ it rain. It has a lot to do with illustrating the fact that Janice Hahn is a grade-A chump who shouldn’t be allowed to fail upwards just because she wants to play nice in the sandbox with hardened street hoods.
Compare Ehlinger’s clever multilayered parody with this liberal attack ad from the Agenda Project.
Again, we’re treated to a not-so-subtle political shock video. On the surface, it might seem like these ads are just representing opposite sides of the same coin. The truth is that these two clips are worlds apart in style and in the type of message they are sending to viewers.
Agenda Project’s ad isn’t satirizing anything. Unless rolling an elderly person off a cliff is hi-freakin-larious to you, there’s no humor here. It’s just a scary scenario with scary words meant to make senior citizens deathly afraid to vote Republican. From simply a matter of artistic merit, the Granny-Over-The-Edge ad is the equivalent of 70′s-era Soviet propaganda.
More importantly, Ladd Ehlinger is trying to make you laugh as he makes you think. You might not have thought the ad was funny. You may have found it crude. But the clip is far more thoughtful and thought-provoking than the Agenda Project’s piece. All they’re trying to do is turn off your brain with fear–PAUL RYAN IS OUT TO KILL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111eleventy!!!!!.
I’m perfectly fine with people disliking Ladd Ehlinger’s clip. It is a tough pill for a lot of folks to swallow. You are well within your rights to be offended by it. I guess what I’m hoping for is that even if people disagree with the ad, they disagree with it for the right reasons. If it’s a matter of taste or decorum, that’s cool. I can respect that. If it’s a matter of not liking the style, I can happily accept that.
But don’t hate it because it’s not clever. What we’re dealing with is a thoughtful multifaceted satire, far better than Family Guy and on a par with anything on South Park. Like I said before, that’s good enough for me.
Posted by KingShamus on June 14, 2011
Who is Janice Hahn, you ask? Let’s let Robert Stacy McCain fill us all in.
Janice Hahn is the Democrat running for Congress in the July 12 special election in California’s 36th District, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Jane Harman.
As a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Hahn promoted a program to use taxpayer money to hire convicted criminals as “gang intervention specialists.” Predictably, Hahn’s government employment program for gangsters amounted to a taxpayer subsidy for violent crime. New York Times, June 24, 2009:
LOS ANGELES — Federal agents announced criminal indictments for 24 high-ranking gang members, along with a prominent gang intervention specialist who associated with city politicians and routinely raised money from Hollywood’s elite.
The specialist, Alex Sanchez, director of Homies Unidos, a gang outreach organization in Los Angeles for more than a decade, was arrested and charged with a federal racketeering count for his alleged role in the assassination of a man in El Salvador in 2006.
First of all, Homies Unidos is so fucking rad I’m officially changing my blog’s name right now.
As is plainly obvious, Janice Hahn is the kind of brainless dipshit liberal that gets mugged by reality so much she’s got the gangsta version of Stockholm Syndrome. As is also spectacularly clear, that’s precisely the kind of soft-headed crime coddler that shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the US House of Reprazentin’.
Now we can piss and moan about Hahn Bolo’s shameful criminal-coddling behavior. Filmmaker Ladd Ehlinger decided to do something about it. (NSFW, but totally safe if you like pure win.)
Now, is this vulgar? One could make the case that it is. Stripper poles, loc’d-out G’s, phat beats–yeah, there’s some potentially objectionable stuff in there.
Move beyond that for second. Did you know who Janice Hahn was before this video? Unless you’re from SoCal, the answer is ‘No’. I know I couldn’t have picked this wacky progtard out of a police line-up.
Next question: Do you know who Janice Hahn is now? More importantly, do you now understand just how vile her political ideology is? You sure as shit do now. How a politician deals with crime and criminals is one of those white hot blazing neon cultural markers that gives you a pretty clear picture about the rest of the pol’s agenda.
What Ehlinger’s ad does is boil Hahn down to her essence: 70′s era bleeding heart paleo-lefty dork who you wouldn’t vote for in a thousand years. In under two minutes, the clip tells you who Janice Hahn is, what she stands for and why she is a complete joke. Simply put, the video is a perfect delivery system for an anti-Hahn message.
So yeah, the ad is a little on the naughty side. However, it has the distinct advantage of being catchy as hell, funny and completely effective in cutting through the nonsense and making it’s point.
Good enough for me.
Posted by KingShamus on June 13, 2011
Dan Collins over at the great POWIP talks about something we all probably need to at least think about doing.
I’m not trying to downplay the importance of the Weinergate coverage of Dana Loesch or Ace or Patterico or Stranahan or anyone else who was involved in getting the message out . . . such as CNN’s Dana Bash. It could prove to be a sort of watershed moment in blogging, such as that which was provided by one-hit wonder Charles Johnson during Rathergate. Take a bow, people.
Now, let’s refocus.
Read the whole thing, of course.
There’s just one problem with Collins’ basically sound advice.
The Weiner just won’t stop. Every day Weiner thrusts out new pictures, new revelations, new stupidity. For a blog that’s based around the retardation of the contemporary political class (And KFC double downs. And beer. And pictures of hot chicks. And beer.) Congressman Cockshot has been one long Christmas Day gift binge where you get to open not only your presents but your brother’s stocking and all the stuff under the rich neighbor kid’s Baby Jeeeebus tree as well.
Let’s be blunt about the nature of Representative SizzleChest’s crash and burn act. It is pretty rare that an elected self-immolates in such a wondrously explosive way. Usually when a politician screws the pooch, it’s illegal campaign contributions or getting too chummy with a lobbyists’ cash stream that does him in. It’s not that often when a pol gets snagged in sex scandal, then does everything in his power to prolong the story and ensure maximum humiliation for himself and his family.
Having said all that, there really are better things to write about in this great big wide world.
So here’s a plan. Barring some major new development–Satanic rituals, a Beyoncé cell phone nude, a Brooklyn safe house full of leather daddies–I’m tapping out of the Weiner story for the next week. I’ll do my damnedest to talk greasy about other political hullaballoos.